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GRENADA 2009 BUDGET SPEECH- Extract on Energy

GRENADA 2009 BUDGET SPEECH
PRESENTED BY

HON. V. NAZIM BURKE
Minister of Finance

To The House of Representatives

December 12, 2008

“Strengthening Economic Management and Building a Platform for Sustained Prosperity”

4.3.6    PURSUING ENERGY POTENTIAL AND ENERGY EFFICIENCY

Mr. Speaker, Government considers it imperative that we develop and implement a sustainable energy policy.  This policy is currently is being prepared with the first draft expected by the end of January 2009.  It will emphasize energy conservation and the promotion of indigenous sources of energy, both renewable and non-renewable, to reduce our dependence on imported fuels.

There is a part of our society which can be referred to as “Energy Poor”.  Such persons are forced to cook with wood or kerosene-fuelled stoves presenting a health and safety hazard to their households and neighbours.

This Government is committed to ensuring that energy is available, accessible, and affordable to all.  Consequently, we shall aim to end this form of energy poverty within the next three years.  To this end, the Energy and Sustainable Development Division of the Ministry of Finance in collaboration with the Ministries of Social Development and Labour will work to reduce the number of families that are considered “Energy Poor”. These families deserve to enjoy all the benefits associated with easier access to a higher quality energy services.

Yes, Mr. Speaker, Energy must be available to all for their convenience, comfort, and good health!  We propose to fund this initiative under the PetroCaribe arrangements.

In the area of Energy Conservation, Government will lead by example. We will undertake Energy Audits of all government buildings to identify areas where energy is being wasted or used inefficiently and implement Energy Conservation Opportunities and Measures (ECOMS).

We intend to establish Energy Committees in various ministries to work along with the Energy and Sustainable Development Division to devise, implement and monitor Energy Conservation Plans.

Mr. Speaker, we believe that at least 10% of the Government’s current energy bill (in electricity and transport) could be reduced with these actions.  That said, our biggest challenge will not be the energy audits, but change in human behaviour towards more efficient energy use.

Yes, Mr.Speaker, Energy Conservation and Energy Efficiency is good for our pockets and the environmentwith which we have been entrusted.  Every kilowatt saved, every gallon saved means less greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere.
This week, our Energy and Sustainable Division commenced an Energy Conservation and Energy Efficiency Education and Sensitization Programme on radio and on television. The campaign will sensitize consumers by providing energy guidelines and tips to assist with the purchase of new appliances and equipment for use in the residential, commercial and transportation sectors.

Mr. Speaker, our energy needs will grow as our economy expands.  Our development challenge is to be more efficient; use less or the same quantity of energy to produce more.

In the agricultural sector, Government will encourage the local manufacture or assembly of solar dryers. These dryers can be used to dry mace, cocoa, sorrel, ginger, and other fruits.  We will also promote the use of biogas digesters for energy recovery from animal and agricultural wastes.

Government will provide a menu of incentives on the inputs required to build or install solar dryers, solar stills, and Biogas Digesters (the designs must first be approved by the Energy and Sustainable Development).

Government intends to promote the use of energy efficient lighting, equipment and appliances.  To this end, Government intends to reduce the duties on compact fluorescent lights, and other energy efficient products, to encourage greater use of same.

Very recently, Government introduced measures to remove or zero rate the applicable GCT on Solar Water Heaters. We will extend this relief to other renewable technologies also, as we seek to become more energy independent.




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